Overheard: Cuban Sandwich

Me: Have you ever had a pressed Cuban sandwich?
Students (all aged 16+): What's that?
Me: Doesn't anyone know what a Cuban sandwich is?
Jose: Is that like lasagna?
Beatriz: No, of course not!
Lynette: What's lasagna?
Beatriz: It's cheese.

[During what should have been a discussion about Nora Ephron's essay, "A Sandwich" about what she claims is the best hot pastrami sandwich in the world and which can be bought at Langer's Delicatessen in Los Angeles.]

Cuban sandwich = lasagna = cheese. As if that weren't enough, other points of clarification that needed to be provided to my students included explaining what a bodega is, what you do at a pawnshop, why one might refer to a famous landmark as a "shrine," and why businesses would charge people to use their bathrooms. Suffice it to say that we only got through the first two paragraphs. So much for lesson planning.

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